18-year old arrested for robberies

February 1, 2009 3:29:51 PM PST
Salinas police arrested an 18-year-old man Friday night who allegedly robbed two restaurants in the city within 15 minutes of each other earlier in the evening.

Mario Becerra was taken into custody after officers responded to a report of a fight at about 7:30 p.m. at a restaurant in the 100 block of W. Gabilan Street, police said.

Restaurant employees and a customer had Becerra pinned to the wall along a narrow hallway in the building, according to police, who said the suspect continued to resist when officers tried to take him into custody.

Employees reported that Becerra had entered the restaurant from the back door and helped himself to food and property before trying to leave without paying, police said.

Employees confronted him, and with the help of a customer who was there with his family, Becerra was restrained until the officers arrived.

A similar incident also occurred about 15 minutes earlier at a restaurant in the 300 block of Main Street, according to police.

A suspect, later identified as Becerra, entered the restaurant and began helping himself to items from behind the counter, and brandished a knife when he was challenged by employees.

A customer tried to intervene and was allegedly shoved by Becerra, who made his escape with a box of items from the business.

Becerra was booked in county jail on two counts of robbery and one count of resisting arrest, police said.